We often come across unpalatable news articles highlighting disturbing facts about crimes against people that make us doubt the integrity of our society. Most common among these devastating facts is the crime of enslaving people against their will. It is present all over the globe in magnitudes that we hardly want to believe.

If you are a business owner in Australia, you might want to ensure none of your employees or people in your supply chain are being mistreated or enslaved. Doing so is not easy and requires better awareness and the right tools. This article will explain what modern slavery is and how you can ensure it is not present around you.

What Is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery is the term used to explain situations of serious exploitation where offenders undermine the freedom of victims using threats or deception. Such practices are often present directly or indirectly in businesses of any type and size and belonging to any industry.

Laws across the world require organisations to report and safeguard themselves against such incidents that endanger the fundamental human rights of any person.

Who Is at Risk?

Offenders of modern slavery often seem to overpower the victims; they belong to the powerful and influential part of society. Whereas the victims can come from lower-income groups or people who are inefficient at protecting themselves from their oppressors. Some of the people who are at a greater risk than others include:

  • Children
  • Women
  • Refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Migrants
  • Occupations with lower legal protection

Some Quick Facts

According to Anti-Slavery Australia,

  • Around 40.3 million people are entangled in modern slavery globally
  • 71% are female (women and children)
  • Over 1900 people living in Australia are victims of modern slavery
  • Only 1 in 5 victims are detected in Australia

What Are the Types of Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery is being practised in more than one form and at more than one location across the globe. Out of the various ways used to exploit people of all ages into slavery, we have listed some of the most common ones. They include:

Child labour

Wrongful employment of children (under the age of 18) and making them work for less money is common in unorganised sectors. Children can also be employed to work in mines or sites that will likely harm their health, safety, or morals. It must be stopped at all costs.

Debt bondage

This type of modern slavery is associated with people being forced to pledge their services as security for a debt. More often, their services are not applied to free them from the debt. The length and nature of their services are also not defined or limited.

Deceptive recruiting for labour or services

Immoral acts of employing people based on deceitful information constitute modern slavery as well. The people facing this type of exploitation do not know the actual nature of their services to their employer until they have signed any agreements.

Forced labour

As the name suggests, this type of modern slavery involves forcing people to work against their will. Such oppressed individuals later consider themselves bound to work because of coercion or threat.

Forced marriage

As shocking as it may sound, forced marriage is also a form of modern slavery. It involves marriages that were forced because of coercion, threat, or deception and often lack free or full consent.

Human trafficking

This type of modern slavery involves treating people as property rather than human beings. The trafficked person is often moved or harboured by means of coercion, threat, deception, abduction, and fraud.

What Is the Root Cause for Modern Slavery?

Owing to the widespread of modern slavery, it is difficult to associate or blame this wrongdoing on only one root cause. The reasons why this kind of enslavement persists may be related to many reasons. It might begin with underprivileged individuals being forced to work for survival. The reasons that give rise to such situations might either be natural or man-made. Some of the most common of these reasons include:

  • Poverty
  • Social discrimination
  • Civil disruption and armed conflict
  • Weak law enforcement
  • Natural disasters

How Does It Impact Organisations and Society?

The exploitation of people in any form is a curse to any society and its organisations. Modern slavery is one of the worst forms of exploitation being practised by immoral individuals for their personal or financial gains. It deprives people of their fundamental human rights and forces them to work in hostile conditions without adequate provisions for their health and safety.

If not stopped, this malpractice can grow into a norm and affect everyone directly or indirectly involved. The more we ignore modern slavery or stay quiet, the more corrupt individuals or businesses might continue exploiting people for cheap labour and treat them inhumanely. This may rob everyone of an acceptable quality of life or proper employment opportunities.

How To Prevent Modern Slavery in Your Organisation?

The best way to ensure your employees, suppliers, customers, contractors, and all others that your organisation deals with are free from modern slavery is by providing awareness training and setting strict policies and procedures. It can only be prevented when your workforce and all people involved in your business can identify modern slavery and report it appropriately.

Providing effective employee training for modern slavery helps build awareness and educates employees on how to identify this malpractice. Setting clearly defined policies and procedures can help people in your organisation report any potential or existing incidents of modern slavery.

Sentrient’s Modern Slavery and Human Rights Online Training Course

Sentrient’s modern slavery and human rights online training course explains what modern slavery is and how to identify and report it. It was developed considering an extensive range of information and compliance factors related to modern slavery. It helps organisations provide effective anti-modern slavery training and ensure it is not being practised directly in their organisation or supply chain. The ease of navigation and depth of information make this course popular amongst businesses across Australia.


Modern slavery in any form is a social evil that needs to be eradicated from society. Businesses of all sizes and industries must stay vigilant about the use of manual labour inside their organisation and supply chain. It is only with proper awareness and training for employees that the war against modern slavery can be won.

Empower your employees with online modern slavery and human rights training courses; this will contribute to preventing it. Contact Sentrient for more information today!